why matt redman is my favorite

6 09 2011

As I have journeyed in learning about worship, one worship leaders/songwriter has stood out over all – Matt Redman.

When I went to Passion LA Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and David Crowder led worship (if there were others I can’t remember, it was some time ago). I left further impressed by Matt Redman.

Why? If there is one thing I wish worship leaders would do more is praise and acknowledge God for all He is. If there is a second thing I wish they would do more is to address God in the second-person.

Why is second-person so important? We are in a relationship with God and our worship is for an audience of one. To make this idea more tangible let’s think about the repercussions of dialogue.

If I say to you, “You are amazing!” or “You are courageous!” or “You are beautiful!” how is that received? Now, if I say about you, “She is amazing!” or “He is courageous!” or “She is beautiful!” how is that received by you? When we are talking about someone or something in third-person we are not talking to that person.

If God is our audience then shouldn’t we be proclaiming to Him?

Why is Matt Redman my favorite? It has little to do with his style, and everything to do with his lyrics and his posture toward the greatness of God.

Seeing him lead live he spoke words that proclaim the greatness of God to God.

You should give a listen to 10,000 Reasons and take notice of how often we are led to sing to God. Yes, there is value in reminding each other of the greatness of God, which is the effect of singing in third-person about God .

I am not saying it is wrong to sing about God in third-person. What I am saying if we want the most intimacy and great face to face interaction with God, speaking and singing directly to God is the only way to do it.

Make it a practice to worship God – speak directly to Him, not just about Him. I think over time you will come to understand why I bother to bring this up.

Go for it! Jesus, You are…

 





worship is not an action alone

7 04 2010

Since I just did several posts on the oft quoted John 4:23-24 I figured I’d tackle another oft quoted passage for understanding worship – Romans 12:1:

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

I’ll be brief. The word for worship here is used also in Hebrews 9:1 & 6. The word is in reference to the ritual duties of temple practices. So, this passage is saying that our act of being a living and holy sacrifice is seen by God as our version of Hebrew temple practices.

This passage does not tell us how we should define worship, but how we should define our version of Temple duties.

Worship is not the act, but the holistic proclamation of who is God by a person toward that person or thing.





are you God’s worshiper?

31 03 2010

I am finishing up my exposition of John 4:22-24. Let’s get at it.

John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

There really isn’t much to say since I already wrote about worshiping in spirit and truth last week.

One thing stands out in this verse that was not in verse 23: “His worshipers must…”

Must means there are no exceptions.

If we want to qualify as a 100% legit worshiper of the one true God then we must worship in spirit and in truth.

Sometimes truth can be tricky. A phrase like “all I need is Jesus” sounds great, but is it really true?

God created us not only to connect with Him, but also with other human beings. We need human community. We also need food, shelter, and water. We need air to breathe.

Loosely, it can be said to be true, in the sense that our eternal souls and spirits are only in need of Jesus.

I may be going too far with the truth idea, but the further I keep going in my journey in knowing God, it seems that God would really like for us to be more exacting in our lives as it aligns with Scripture.

Jesus really didn’t come down and say, “God is all you need” or “I am all you need.”

Jesus didn’t say all that matters is eternal life. So, focusing only on what our soul and spirit need is actually constructing a paradigm that Jesus never set up.

I’m sorry if this crushes your favorite song or wipes out half of the songs you sing, but we have please God with our worship. If God wants us to worship in truth, then we better take it seriously.





worship time vs worship songs

3 02 2010

(This is a continuation from last week’s post on song’s for the journey versus songs to God.)

One of the reasons this topic came up was because of David Crowder Band. First off, I’ve never been a fan. I don’t dislike them, I just don’t get their lyricism. I like their style, though, music and hair.

I had to figure out why I didn’t feel like a majority of their songs belonged in a worship set. Yet trusting the people at sixstepsrecords, I also had to accept that they definitely play a role in the music ministry under Passion.

After looking at the lyrics I realized so much of their songs revolve around the journey, reminding us of who God has made us and what He has done. The songs are often directed toward the singer (not Crowder, I just mean whoever is singing).

These are songs for the journey. Songs for the journey remind us of God’s work and reaffirm God’s Word to us. They are more often than not songs to us and for us.

There is nothing wrong with these songs when constructed according to Scripture. But why are these songs not worship songs?

If you notice when you find worship in Scripture, it is toward somebody or something. If we are singing to ourselves and it’s worship, then it would be self-worship, thus idol worship. But if they are not worship songs to us and affirm Truth, then what are they? They are songs for the journey.

So, can these songs be good to sing in church? Yes.

The danger in using these types of songs is that they can make us feel good about us and we lose focus on God. This is where the worship leader must construct a purposeful flow so that these songs can be instruments to launch the gathering into worship.

Though, not worship songs, they can be used in worship times because they reflect Truth about God. These songs become instruments of worship when they remind us of God and His goodness to us. When this happens they become fuel for songs that are directed toward God.

Worship songs can be enhanced by songs for the journey during worship times. We must be careful, though, not to pack our worship times with songs for the journey and neglect songs to God, or else we will have no worship time at all. If we lean toward one at the expense of the other, it must be with songs toward God.





songs for the journey, songs to God

27 01 2010

There are times I feel like a worship jerk. I am driven to help the church understand worship; but in this process I have to draw a line that eliminates good songs from falling under the worship banner.

For example:

The lyrics:

Where you go I go
What you say I say
What you pray I pray

Jesus only did, What he saw you do
He would only say, What he heard you speak
He would only move, When he felt you lead
Following your heart, Following your
spirit

How could I expect to walk without you
When every move that Jesus made was in surrender
I would not begin to live without you
For you alone are worthy you are always good

You are always good
You are always good
Always good
Always good

Though the world sees and soon forgets
We will not forget
Who you are and what you’ve done for us
What you’ve done for us

You are my God

When I look at the lyrics I have to say the song isn’t a worship song. The lyrics “You are always good” and “You are my God” are the only lyrics I could consider to fall under the definition of worship, which in simple terms is giving a response to God because of who He is.

The other lyrics talk about the way Jesus lived and how the church should live in response to His example.

Nothing is wrong with the song. It’s just not a song that worships God.

This type of song is what I’d call a song for the journey on the road of God’s transformation.

Do I think like song should be sung in church? Yes, but the song itself cannot serve as a worship song.

I’ll discuss more about worship times versus worship songs next post, but I want to set a foundation leading into the next post.

Just because a song is biblical truth, does not mean it qualifies as a worship song. There is a reason for the distinction, but we’ll have to wait until the next post.





you can sit during worship

19 01 2010

I’ve made such a deal about standing and bowing in worship that I thought it would be good to mention that it’s OK to sit.

One thing I want to make clear is that standing isn’t some magical make-God-happy move. It has to be a choice to represent respect for His presence.

There are times when I sit, so let me explain why I sit.

When I stand or bow I actually can distract myself from internalizing what is going on in worship. Because I don’t sit much, when I do I use the time to focus on the lyrics, my heart condition and how much my soul actually wants to choose to worship.

When I eventually stand it must come out of choice in my heart that says, “I want to stand for God now.”

Honestly, this post isn’t some grand idea. I’m basically saying, “Be mindful of what you are doing in worship and why you are doing it.”

It will definitely be a much better experience for God and for you.





worship on earth like you can’t in heaven

9 12 2009

One of the things I don’t hear is that you can’t worship in heaven* like you can on earth.

I was  listening to a teaching series by Dave Roberson on worship, in which he told a story. It got me thinking, “What is so special about worship on earth?”

1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

In the future we will know as we are fully known. Taking this verse with all the description of worship we see in Revelation, we have a glimpse as to what our reaction will be when seeing the glory of God.

Next, we should consider John 16:33 when Jesus says, “In the world you will have tribulation.” It’s easy to be happy when things are going right.

It’s easy to worship God when it seems like He’s making life good, but when life isn’t good and we choose to worship God it shows something different.

On earth there will be times when we ask, “Where is God? If He’s so powerful why did He let such and such happen?”

Yet to believe God is all He says He is, to believe His plan and ways are beyond us when it hurts to live in this world is something that we cannot do in heaven.

When we worship out of that context, we have a chance to touch God in a different way then we will ever be able to do again.

Worshiping through all the difficulties that come as a result of living in this fallen world is a gift we can only give to God while living in this age.


*Technically we won’t be in heaven. I’m not sure why this became our way of saying we have eternal life. If we paid more attention to the book of Revelation then we would realize that a new Jerusalem would be on the new earth. Therefore, we actually will live on earth, a new one of course. For ease of communication, though, I’ll just call it heaven.